Spatial-temporal patterns and driving factors for industrial wastewater emission in China

Yong Geng*, Meiling Wang, Joseph Sarkis, Bing Xue, Lin Zhang, Tsuyoshi Fujita, Xiaoman Yu, Wanxia Ren, Liming Zhang, Huijuan Dong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


China's extraordinary economic growth, industrialization and urbanization coupled with inadequate investment in basic water supply and treatment infrastructures, have resulted in increasing industrial water pollution. However, due to imbalanced development, industrial wastewater emissions present significant regional disparity. Industrial wastewater management disparity requires more in-depth study on both spatial and temporal patterns across different regions for identification of appropriate and effective mitigation policies while considering practical and localized realities. This paper addresses this issue and contributes to new knowledge by analyzing the spatial-temporal characteristics and driving forces of industrial wastewater emission variations in China's 31 provinces during the years 1995-2010. Using the Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) method, the results show that economic factors are the main driving factors of industrial wastewater emission changes in all provinces during the study period. It is also found that technology improvement considerably offsets emission increases. Using these research findings, both general and specific measures for controlling industrial wastewater emissions are offered so that the overall industrial water efficiency can be improved, in China and potentially elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Cleaner Production
Issue numberAugust
Pages (from-to)116-124
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 01.08.2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • China
  • Industrial wastewater emission
  • Spatial-temporal characteristics
  • LMDI


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